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Cables, Pulleys, Bones and Muscles

Gyrotonics with Patricia Farkas-Sprague

Patricia Farkas-Sprague, a former professional dancer, still moves with the fluidity of a teenage girl. No doubt, that can be attributed in large part to the time she spends teaching in her Willaimsville fitness studio and using either of her two prized Gyrotonics machines.

The machines are beautifully crafted with natural hard woods, a pully cable tower, and a bench with gyrocentric grips that compel smooth movement when stretching muscles–usually in a circular motion.

“I’ve been trained in gyrotonic going on 12 years,” she told Artvoice. “I’m the only studio that has been doing it for this long.

“Gyrotonic is an exercise system created in the early 1970s by a professional dancer named Juliu Horvath, a Hungarian.

“Horvath, who was injured as a dancer, had been drawn to Kundalini yoga since childhood. When his injury ended his dance career, he moved to St. Thomas to focus on rehabilation methods for dancers. That is where he created an exercise system called Yoga for Dancers.

“Gyrotonic uses equipment. The main piece of equipment is called the Gyrotonic Pulley Tower System and what the exercise system does for you, is it creates strength and flexibility. At the same time, it also works the nervous system.

“The Gyrotonic system focuses on the spine and allows you work beyond your usual limitations in the joints, so the joints are free to move and you are controlling your center.

“The difference between Pilates and Gyrotonic is that Pilates is more of a linear movement. Gyrotonic, where ‘gyro’ means circular and ‘tonic’ means toning, has a different approach. The Gyrotonic system is done in more of a three-dimensional movement, more on everyday movement that we may not think that we do, arching and curling, spiraling side in side.”

The Gyrotomic tower is a formidable looking device, to be sure, but according to Farkas-Sprague, it’s an exercise beneficial to any and all.

“Gyrotonics is for anyone. I got into it as a dancer. Dancers really like to do this as an exercise or conditioning form. Athletes do it; any athlete can do it as an exercise conditioning form. People with back problems, children do it, elderly do it, my eldest is eighty five years old. Golfers, runners, name it, anyone can do it.”

—AV Interview by J.M.

Body One Studios is located at 5550 Main Street in Williamsville. To see the Gyrotonics Pulley Tower in action, visit the Health Channel on Artvoice TV.

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